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Fig, goat cheese, & honey biscuits

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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Let the butter thaw briefly if it’s fully frozen. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Using the largest holes on a box grater, grate 6 tablespoons of the butter into the flour mixture. Use your fingers to toss the butter into the flour just until all the butter shreds are coated. Add the diced goat cheese and diced figs and toss again until all the pieces are coated.
  2. Add the buttermilk (or the Greek yogurt and milk mixture, which is what I typically use) to the flour-butter mixture, and use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir just until a dough comes together.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Use your fingers and palms to gently pat the dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Fold into the bottom third up and the top third down, letter-style.
  4. Use the pads of your fingers and palms to gently pat the dough again to about 1/2-inch flat. Fold letter-style again and pat gently again to a 1/2-inch thickness. Finally, fold one more time (for a total of three folds) and pat it gently to about a 1-inch thickness.
  5. Using a floured biscuit cutter, cut rounds from the dough, taking care not to twist the cutter when you remove the rounds, which may inhibit rising. Gather the scraps and gently pile them into a 1-inch mass again, and cut again until you’ve used up all the dough.
  6. Place the rounds, sides gently touching, in a cast-iron skillet or on a baking sheet. Brush with milk or buttermilk, if desired, then bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown on top. (Keep an eye on the biscuits starting at about 15 minutes; it may take more or less time, depending on your oven.) Meanwhile, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter and mix with the two tablespoons of honey. Brush with the honey-butter and enjoy warm, with more goat cheese, fresh figs if you have them, or fig jam.

Notes

I have found, happily, that biscuits are surprisingly forgiving. A few variations that I like: (1) If you’d like a lighter biscuit, good for serving with fried chicken or a rich gravy, increase the buttermilk to 1 cup and decrease the butter to ¼ cup (½ stick, 4 tablespoons, or 66 g). (2) If, on the other hand, you want a richer, moister one, you can dial up the butter to a ½ cup (1 stick, 8 tablespoons, or 113 g), keeping everything else the same. The latter is my favorite for plain biscuits on indulgent Sundays. On the flour, White Lily flour will produce more tender biscuits if you can find it, and you can also try 1 cup cake flour and 1 cup all-purpose. Fortunately, however, I haven’t found a huge difference when using regular all-purpose.